The famous Everest Base Camp trek to the foot of the world’s highest mountain is among the most popular trekking routes on the planet. This is not without reason, as the route, in addition to ending at the foot of the mighty giant of the Himalayas, passes both charming sherpa villages and a beautiful monastery along the way. The route offers some completely indescribable landscapes, with aesthetic peaks such as Ama Dablam enthroned on the horizon.
But the region, which of course takes its name from the record-high mountain, offers several other beautiful trekking routes that meander over high mountain passes and through open valleys, and these see far fewer visitors than “The Everest Highway”. So it is entirely possible to trek through the Everest area without running into the large trekking groups, even in high season, as soon as you get over the buzzing Namche Bazaar.
According to smartercomputing, Namche is the fascinating and well-equipped capital of the Sherpas in the region and probably one of the few places in the world where you can buy something as sophisticated as a fresh avocado smoothie at an altitude of 3,600 meters. The small town is a hub on the region’s trekking routes, which in most cases pass through the town.
Whether you go for the classic or would rather walk along less trodden paths, the Everest area offers some of Nepal’s most beautiful and famous landscapes.
Read more about the routes below, and the more details and descriptions of the Everest routes in our extended Guide to Everest .
Everest Base Camp
Difficulty: D (average +)
Number of days: 15
Height (max.): 5,635 m.
See Tourists: Everest Base Camp trek
The route to the foot of the world’s highest mountain is, not surprisingly, among the world’s most popular trek and one of Nepal’s absolute classics.
For most trekkers, the trip to Everest Base Camp starts with a mountain plane to the small town of Lukla, which at 2,800 meters altitude is located as the gateway to the Khumbu region, as the Everest region is also called. The runway at Hillary-Tenzing Airport in Lukla is among the shortest in the world, making the approach something of an experience in itself.
From Lukla, the route meanders up and down, before a large suspension bridge connects the path with the dreaded Namche Hill, which in a long, tough stretch leads breathless trekkers up to the ever-buzzing capital of the Everest region.
While most of the “villages” found in Nepal’s Himalayan mountains are just small spots consisting of a few houses and a few smaller shops, Namche Bazaar actually has the size of a large village with associated facilities. Here, row after row of buildings rest in layers on the mountain slope. There are several tea houses, a museum and a myriad of cafes, restaurants, bookstores, equipment stores, souvenir shops and art dealers. All of them are connected by stair systems, which are often extremely steep. If you want to know if a tractor is on its way up or down the Everest route, you never have to ask in Namche Bazaar; one hears it easily on the breath as they move up the city stairs.
From Namche Bazaar, most trekkers hike up to The Everest View Hotel, located above the city for approx. 4,000 meters altitude. It’s an amazing acclimatization feature that provides some of the route’s best panoramic views of Everest and Ama Dablam. Then the route continues upwards through small sherpa villages, one smaller than the other. The landscape becomes barren and more desolate the higher you go. The route passes through the Khumjung Valley, where memorial stones have been erected for many of the climbers who over time have had to give up their lives in an attempt to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain.
The beautiful Tengboche Monastery, the largest in the region, is one of the route’s most cultural destinations, which must and must be visited on the way up or down the mountain. Visitors are often given the opportunity to witness one of the ceremonies of the Buddhist monks, which can awaken the inner spirituality of every mountain hiker.
Before the day finally begins, where the visit to Everest Base Camp itself should stand, the route rounds its highest point at 5,635 meters at the top of Kala Pattar, from where the view of Mount Everest just does not get better.
On the way back, the trek ends again in Lukla, from where the plane returns to Kathmandu.